« VorigeDoorgaan »
secretary, who called himself Raven- ; and Gardiner, as he stole out of his stone, “but there may be a White house, stopped to look at the moon's Bishop of Winchester."
rainbow, then deemed a rare and awful “Ab! I trow thy meaning-White omen. “ Alice of Huntingdon is busy," is a shrewd churchman, and looks for said he, with a ghastly smile, but my place. Hearken to me, then, I have the dead man's land will be free enongh a thought that evil is gathering against for the blue-eyed witch-she cannot me to-night; to profit by a dream, I buy a husband without it." - And stealwill go privily from London within this ing a look at Ravenstone, the Chancel hour, and abide in secret at Winchester lor-bishop departed. till the ides of June are past. But take “ I am a fool," said young Raventhou my signet-ring, and put my seal stone to himself, “and worse than a and countersign to Bradford's death- fool, to heed how this wanton giglet warrant when it comes from court." may be made fit for a knave's bribe,
“ Does my lord think it will be and yet that this dull bigot, this surly sent !” said the secretary calmly- and selfish drone, should have such “ They say the queen's bed-chamber- glimpses of a poet's paradise, is a wonwoman has told her, she will be the
der worth envying. I have heard and mother of no living thing if she harms seen men in love with Platonic superought that has life.
stition under the hot skies of Spain, 6. Tushathat woman is a crafty where the air seems as if it was the giglet, but we need such helps when a breathing of kind spirits and the waters queen reigns. It was well done, Ra- are bright enough for the dwelling; but venstone, to promise her Giles Rufford's here! in this foggy island-in this old lands. Since the man is dead, and his man's dark head and iron heart! I will heir murdered him, we will make Alice see what familiar demon stoops to hold of Huntingdon his heiress.”
converse with such a sorcerer." Not a muscle in the pretended Ra- And young Ravenstone locked himvenstone's face changed, and his deep self in his chamber, not ill-pleased that black eye was steady as he replied his better purpose would serve * It will be well done, my lord, if she covert and gilding for his secret passion is faithful. At what hour is John Brad- to pry into his patron's mystery. He ford to die?"
arrayed his person in the apparel he “ Bid the marshal of the prison have had provided to equip him as Gardia care of him till four o'clock to-mora ner's representative; and while he mow morning, for he is a gay and glo- threw it over the close purpoint and rious talker; and so was his namesake, tunic which fitted his comely figure, he mad John of Munster, even among
red smiled in scorn as he remembered the hot irons. Look to the warrant, Ra- ugliness and decrepitude he meant to venstone, and see it speedily sent to counterfeit. At the eleventh hour, when Newgate. That done—nay, come near- the darkness of the narrow streets, interer–I would speak in thine ear. There rupted only by a few lanterns swinging is a coffer in my private chamber above his head, made his passage safe, which I have left unlocked. Attach my he admitted himself into the Bishop's signet-ring to the silver chain, and let house by a private postern, of which me know what thou shalt hear; but let he kept a master-key. By the same this be done in the very noon of night, key's help he entered the chamber, and when no eye nor ear but thine can ringing his patron's silver bell, gave noreach it."
tice to the page in waiting that his preRavenstone promised, and his hand sence was needful. When this confitrembled with joy as he received the dential servant entered, he was not surring. It was already almost midnight, prised to see, as he supposed, the bishop
ches Full well, woman," answered Ra
seated behind his leathern screen muffled “ I have studied thy ruling planet," in his huge rochet or lawn garment, as said Alice of Huntingdon, “and as thy if he had privately returned from coun- wishes are without number, so they are cil, according to his custom.
without a place in thy destiny. But I no messenger arrived from the court ?” have read the signs of Mary Tudor's, said the counterfeit prelate.
and I know which of her high officers my lord, for the queen, they say
will lose his staff this night." sick.” Tarry not an instant if one « Knowest thou the marks of his vicometh, and see that the marshal of the sage, Alice ?” asked the counterfeit compter be waiting here to take my bishop, bending down his head, and warrant, and execute it at his peril drawing
his hood still farther over it. before day-break.” The page retired ; “ Hear them,” replied Alice: “ a and Ravenstone, now alone, saw the swarthy colour, hanging look, frowning coffer standing on its solitary pedestal brows, eyes an inch within his head, near him. It was unlocked, and he hooked nose, wide nostrils, ever snuffing found within it only a deep silver bowl the wind, a sparrow-mouth, great hands, with a chain poised exactly in its centre. long talons rather than nails on his feet, Ravenstone was no stranger to the mode which make him shuffle in his gait as of divination practised with such instru- in his actions—these are the marks of ments. What could he risk by suspend- his visage and his shape ; none can tell ing the signet-ring as Gardiner had re- his wit, for it has all shapes. Dost thou quested ? His curiosity prevailed, and know this portrait, my Lord of Winthe ring when attached to the silver chester ?” chain vibrated of itself, and struck the sides of the bowl three times distinctly. venstone, 6 and his trust is in a witch He listened eagerly to its clear and deep whose blue eyes shame heaven for lendsound, expecting some response, and ing its colour to hypocrisy ; and her when he looked up, Alice of Hunting- flattery has made boys think the tree don stood by his side.
she loved and the fountain she smiled This woman had a queen-like sta- on became holy. And now she serves ture, to which the height of her volu- two masters, one blinded by his folly, pure, or veil, twisted in large white
in- Ravenstone, as he spoke, dropped creased majesty. Her supertunic, of the rochet-hood from his shoulders, and a thick stuff, in those days called Stam- shaking back his long jet-black hair, mel, hung from her shoulders with that stood before her in the firmness and ample fow which distinguishes the grace of his youthful figure. Alice did drapery of a Dian in ancient sculpture. not shrink or recede a step. She laugh“ You summoned me," she said, - and ed, but it was a laugh so musical, and I attend you.”
aided by a glance of such sweet mirth, Ravenstone, though he believed him- that Ravenstone relaxed the stern grasp self sporting with the superstition of he had laid upon her mantle. Gardiner as with a tool, felt startled by warrant, Alice! It is midnight, and her sudden appearance : and a thrill of the marshal waits—where is the warrant the same superstitious awe he had for John Bradford's release ?” mocked in his patron, passed through “ It is in my hand,” she said, “ and his own blood. But he recollected his needs only thy sign and seal; here is purpose and his disguise; and still the hand-writing of our queen." keeping the cowering attitude which Ravenstone snatched the parchment, befitted the bishop, he replied, “ Where but did not rashly sign without unfoldis thy skill in divination if thou knowest ing it. Thou art deceived, Alice, or not what I need?"
willing to deceive ; this is a marriage
contract, investing thee with the lands hair till it fell to her feet, and waving of Giles Rufford as thy dowry." round her uncovered shoulders, and
" And to whom,” asked she, smiling, amongst the thin blue silk that clung to “ does my queen-mistress licence me her shape, like wreaths of gold. Her to give it by her own manual sign ?” eyes, large and brilliant as the wild
Ravenstone looked again, and saw leopard's, shone with such imperial his
name entered, and himself described beauty as almost to create the triumph as the husband chosen for her maid of they demanded. “ Be no rebel to my honour by Queen Mary. “ Has she power, Ravenstone, for it is thy safety. also signed," he said, the reprieve of Gardiner has ordered Bradford's death John Bradford ?”
without appeal, and feigned his dream “ It is in my hand, and now in thy of danger to decoy thee here! But I sight Henry Ravenstone ; but the seal have earned a fair estate by serving that will save thy friend may not be him, and thou mayest share it with placed till thou hast given sign and seal me.” “ Thy wages are not yet paid, to this contract. Choose !"
Alice !" he replied, grinding his teeth, The warrant for Bradford's liberation “ That fair estate is mine, and that was spread before him, and her other contract can avail thee nothing without band held the contract of espousals. He my will-Henry Ravenstone is a name smiled as he met the gaze of her keen as false as thị promise to save Bradblue eyes, and wrote the name of Henry ford.” Alice paused an instant, then Ravenstone in the blank left for it. She laughing shrilly, clapped her hands added her own without removing those thrice. In that instant the chamber keen eyes from his; and placing the was filled with armed men, who surparchment in her gipsire, suffered him rounded and struck down their victim to take the warrant of his friend's re- notwithstanding his desperate defence. lease. It was full and clear, but when “ This is not the bishop!” one of the he turned to seek the chancellor's signet- men exclaimed, “ this is not Stephen ring, the coffer had closed upon
it. of Winchester ; we shall not be paid “ Blame thyself, Ravenstone !” said for this. s. He is Giles Rufford of HunAlice of Huntingdon; “ thou hast tingdon," answered his companion, the laughed at the tales of imps and fairies, ruffian Coniers, “ and I am already yet thou badst woman's weakness paid.”
paid.” Alice would have escaped had enough to pry into that coffer and ex- not the length of her dishevelled hair pect a miracle. As if thy master had enabled her treacherous accomplices to not wit sufficient to devise a safe place seize it. They twined it round her for his ring, which thy curiosity placed throat to stifle her cries, making her there more than thy obedience ! Didst boasted beauty the instrument of her thou think I came into this chamber like destruction. She was dragged to Newasylph or an elfin, without hearing the gate on a charge of sorcery, and exestroke on the silver bowl which gave cuted the next morning by John Bradnotice thou wast here? Truly, Raven- ford's side, in male attire, lest her rare stone, man's vanity is the only witch loveliness should excite compassion. that governs him.”
He knew her, and looking at the laurel“ Beautiful demon! when the crafty stems mingled with the faggots, said, churchman who tutors thy cunning as if conscious of his young friend's has no need of it, will thy other mas- death—“ Alas! the green tree has peter, the great Prince of Fire, save thee rished for my sake !''-It was indeed from the stake ?"
his favourite laurel, which had been My trust in myself,” she answer- hewn down with cruel malice for this ed; and throwing her cloak and wimple purpose. The people, just even in their on the ground, she loosened her bright superstitions to a good man's memory,
still believe the earth remains parched laurel-leaves, His memory is sanctis and barren where John Bradford perish- fied by the religion he honoured, while ed on the first of July 1555 ; and his Alice of Huntingdon's sunk among dust heart, which escaped the flames, like and ashes, as a worthy emblem of the his fellow martyr's, Archbishop Cran- Cabalism she practised. mer's, was enbalmed and wrapped in
THE INCHCAPE ROCK ;
The Bell Rock, or, “ Inch.Cape Rock," as it is more coinmonly desiguated by Mariners, is a sunken rook off
the North-east coast of Scotland, and was formerly very dangerous to sailors. The Abbots of Aberbrothock or Aberbrothwick, a religious foundation, standing near the coast, caused a large bell to be erected on a float near to the rock, so as to ring by the agitation of the sea, and by this simple means tv indicate to the bewil. dered seaman the perilous situation in which he was placed. There is a tradition current among the inba. bitants of the coast, that the bell was cut from the float and stolen, and that the person who committed this nefarious act, afterwards met his fate by shipwreck on this very rock, during a dark and stormy night. On this tradition the following poem is founded. We understand that there has lately been a very expeusive beacon, of the most durable description, erected near the spot.
No stir in the air, no stir on the sea, The ship lies as still, as still as may be, Her sails have neither breath por motion, Her keel lies steady in the ocean; Without either sound or sense of their shock The waves rollid over the Inch Cape Rock; So little they rose, so little they fell, They did not move the Inch Cape bell. That bell bad a holy Abbot hung, And on a floatiug raft it swung; And, as the billows rose or fell, Still louder and louder was heard the knell; The sailors bore off from this perilous rock And bless'd the good abbot of Aberbrothock. And now that bell and its float were seen Like a darker spot on the ocean green, The sun in heaven rode high and gay All things were happy on that day, The sea-gull screamed as she fitted around, And there was pleasure in the sound. Sir Ralph, the Rover, walked the deck, His eye was on that dark green speck ; He felt the influence of the spring, It made bim whistle, it made him sing : His heart was mirthful to excess · But the pirate's mirth was wickedness; His eye was on the bell and float, “ My men,” he said, “get out the boat, And row me to the Inch Cape Rock, I'll plague the old Abbot of Aberbrothock." The boat they lower, the boat they row, And to the lach Cape Rock they go, Sir Ralph has leant him o'er the boat, He cut the bell from off the float, · Down sunk the bell with a gingling sound, The bursting biliows clos'd around,
Quoth the Rover, “ The next that comes to
the rock, Won't bless theold Abbot of Aberbrothock." Sir Ralph, the Rover, sailed away, He scour'd the seas for many a day, Till, haviog gained of gold full store, He home returned to Scotland's shore. The wind had blown a gale all day Towards evening it had died away, The mist was so thick on the ocean green, Nor cape por headland could be seen. On the deck the Rover takes his stand, The weather's so thick, I can spy no land;" Quoth another, “ 'Twill be lighter soon, Yonder's the beam of the rising moon;" *** Cans't hear,” said one, the breakers
roar, Yonder, methinks, should be the shore; Yet where we are I cannot tell, Would to heaven we could hear the Inch
Cape hell." Though the wind is down, the tide is strong, The vessel quickly drifts alongAt once she strikes with a dreadful shock, “Oh Christ! she has struck on the Inch
Cape Rock!" Sir Ralph, the Rover, tore his hair, He curst himself in his des pair! The rock had burst an opening wide, The waves rushed in on every side, Yet even in that hour of fear One only sound could the Rover hear; A sound as if with the Inch Cape bell, The fiends below were ringing his koell.
The extraordinary interest wbich the above tale has excited, from its having been made
a musical exhibition at almost every theatre in England, and a vehicle for the delightful strains of the celebrated German composer, Von Weber, has rendered it universally popular. The incantation, with all its accompanying devilries—the casting of the magic balls—the agency of the Demon Huntsman, and other ipfernal powers, and myeterious and unearthly music, hold such a thrilling power over the senses, that iu spite
of our better reason, we can but see and admire. As we profess in onr work to present our readers with the original romances and tra
ditions of every nation, we give this highly interesting tale from its primitive source. (“ The popular tales and Romances of the Northern nations”) without any abridgment or alteration of our own, so that those who have witnessed the dramatic exhibition, will